The post-pandemic wellness hotel trade is reliant on social media. This was the main finding from a survey of guests and hoteliers, presented at ITB Berlin 2023 by Michael Altewischer, chief executive of Wellness-Hotels und Resorts GmbH, and Roland Fricke, founding partner and marketing representative of the portal beauty24.de.
This survey revealed that stakeholders‘ expectations for the future were certainly positive, but that the up-and-coming generation of customers not only have different requirements regarding quality and service compared with traditional clients, but that these demands are more exacting.
“Now is the time to address new guests“, Fricke said. In addition to the accustomed facilities at wellness establishments, the 29 and under group expect more vegetarian and vegan means as well as a menu reflecting the local region. ”Alcohol-free drinks have a much larger part to play”, added Altewischer. Other factors are modern interior design that corresponds to their everyday lifestyle. Great importance is attached to being able to access the venue without a car.“
Above all social interaction at various levels has an important part to play. The Generation Z is very demanding, Fricke commented. At the chosen location there is a need for “lasting, positive experiences that they can share with friends or a partner. Especially after experiencing the pandemic, friendship has become an important element of themed travel.”
Even prior to and during the booking the industry is entering uncharted territory. 90 per cent of 25 to 29-year old are influenced by social media, especially TikTok and Instagram. Anyone who does not take part will not be found. The survey revealed that there is still plenty of unused space. It would appear that a re-think is needed with regard to the workshops that are available: while only 12.5 per cent of hoteliers seek to attract young customers by offering exclusive “themed workshops”, according to Altewischer, this group state that events that are in-trend are a major attraction.
In addressing these tasks the organisers benefit from an increased willingness to invest, after having been very restrained during the pandemic. The survey revealed that 87 per cent of them are prepared to invest in their businesses this year.